The Nokia 6131 is a phone designed with simplicity in mind. However, it does feature quad-band connectivity, which will let you roam in any country that uses a GSM network. It also has EDGE, which lets you browse the Internet at faster speeds than a GPRS connection, although only the Orange network supports EDGE in the UK at present.
There's a 1.3-megapixel camera that can be activated through the phone's menu or using the shutter button on the right side of the phone. You can shoot still pictures or video with it and there's a night mode function, a timer, and several effect options and quality settings. We found that there was about a 3-second lag after taking a picture and that without an LED or flash night shots were impossible without some ambient light.
If photography isn't your cup of tea, there's always the MP3 player or the built-in FM radio. However, unless you buy a Nokia 3.5mm adaptor for your own headphones you'll have to use the proprietary ones that come in the box. The MP3 player lets you set tracks to play randomly and also adjust the equaliser settings. In the radio application, you can save up to 20 radio stations and play them through the loudspeaker, but you must have the headphones plugged in -- they act as the antenna.
In order to store all your images and music, there's an expandable microSD slot underneath the battery cover, which supports up to 2GB. Unfortunately, there's no bundled card with the phone so you'll have to buy one if you need more storage space.
Other features include SMS, MMS, email, voice recorder, Web browser, Bluetooth, infrared, java games, speakerphone, calendar, alarm clock, to do list, notes, calculator, stopwatch, countdown timer, polyphonic ring tones and world clock. There's also a Bluetooth presenter feature that lets you access your Windows PC and control PowerPoint presentations and the Windows Media player, among other Windows applications.
Audio quality on calls was at times quieter than we would have liked, but you could hear the person on the other end clearly and vice versa.
The image quality on photographs from the 1.3-megapixel camera was okay. The images had blurry edges and in dark conditions it was difficult to make out anything, due to the lack of any light or flash.
Battery life is quoted at 240 hours on standby and 3.4 hours talk time. We found that this was fairly accurate, but of course it depends on many factors, including network signal strength and usage (see our feature on extending your mobile's battery life for more details).
Edited by Mary Lojkine
Additional editing by Nick Hide